As a Feng Shui consultant, it has been revealing to me that in many cases my Clients’ landscape has posed their biggest Feng Shui challenge. The geography around the home, other structures, vegetation, bodies of water, roadways, swimming pools and possessions of the owner are just a very short list of the Landscape Feng Shui features that can create imbalances. How is the area outside of your home impacting the Landscape Feng Shui?
What is Landscape Feng Shui?
Let’s start out by clarifying that Landscape Feng Shui is defined as the layer of physical and energetic space outside of the home’s structure. Imagine a bird’s eye view of your home. The interior of the structure has the greatest influence on you and your family. Now envision the next concentric circle of influence directly outside of your home, then the next circle and the next. Each circle impacts you, but to a lesser degree as you move away from the building. Whether your deck or other outdoor space, yard, your plot of land or a neighbor’s, all of the various circles will have an impact to some degree.
Maybe you live in an apartment, condo or other situation that does not give you a specific outdoor space over which you have complete control. It is still important to look at your Landscape Feng Shui. What happens outside your door has the next greatest impact on your home’s Feng Shui. There are things you can do inside, if need be, to improve imbalances outside.
I do Form School Feng Shui. It focuses on the “form” of things and how they interact and produce auspicious Ch’i to support human beings. There are many, many factors to evaluate in the surroundings where I live in Maine. Mountains, hills, ocean, rivers, streams, rocks, boulders, ledges, tall trees and dense forest are just a few of the features I consider.
Now that I spend half of my year in Florida there are different “forms” to evaluate. The land is fairly level. Where I live, there are many man-made ponds, dense placement of homes, extremely fast growing vegetation and big trees.
The plants, shrubs, trees and other elements in your landscape are a second skin around a structure generating beauty, protection and vibrant energy. How can you look at your Landscape Feng Shui to make it the best it can be? Let’s start by taking a general assessment of the area outside your door.
Landscape Feng Shui: What’s the big picture?
We all have our intuitive side whether we consciously tap into it or not. Using this ability can provide a quick read on how your Landscape Feng Shui is doing by providing a less analytical “big picture” assessment of your outdoor area.
Step away from your home a bit and look back at the entrance. Paying attention to your initial response, does it make you feel good? If someone you admired very much came to your home, would you be proud to invite them in?
If your answer is “Yes!” then congratulations! Send us a photo of your home as we can all gain from your know-how.
When the answer is, “Not so much,” you are sensing an unevenness in the Ch’i energy that is signaling a potential imbalance somewhere in the lives of the home’s occupants. Time to take a closer look at any Landscape Feng Shui moves that could improve the situation.
Landscape Feng Shui and Ch’i Flow
The children’s fairy tale, Goldilocks, is a great teacher of basic Feng Shui. In her encounter with the three bears she could discern whether the situation (and the vital energy called Ch’i) was too big, too small or just right. Looking for the happy medium was her forte. We can take her example and apply it to our Feng Shui by looking for the arrangement of factors that feels “just right” to us.
Imagine the features in the landscape as though they are pieces of furniture in one of your rooms. Are the trees and buildings nearby tall and looming or a nice proportion that adds protection and comfort? Is the vegetation healthy and vibrant or rotten and dried out? Do lakes, ponds or waterways close by bring gentle, meandering flows that nourish, or do they plummet down steep inclines or barely trickle and provide no movement? Everything counts in Feng Shui, and each feature around your exterior either offers you and your family beneficial vital Ch’i energy or depletes it.
If something feels too extreme – whether too small, large, dry, wet, stagnant, closed in, wide open or any other adverse description – it is signaling an imbalance in energy and is disrupting your Ch’i flow.
Make your Landscape Feng Shui clear and inviting
Even though GPS is now widely used, I still ask my Clients to give me directions to their homes. It provides insight into how they perceive their home’s location relative to their surroundings and a glimpse into how they relate to their own Landscape Feng Shui.
Do people have an easy time finding your home? In Florida, where gated communities offer street upon street of nearly identical buildings, I always find my friend Robin’s place by her lovely coral front door. Once through the front gate at my Florida home, there are four turns before folks can find my house. Left, left, right, right is my mantra to any guest. This instruction seems to make the multiple turns easy to remember and execute.
Once people find your driveway (or parking lot), how easy is it for them to get to where they park? My last house had one of the sides of the driveway lined with trees. When I asked the UPS driver why he was walking our packages in from the road rather than driving like he used to, his response prompted some immediate Landscape Feng Shui. The trees had overgrown so much that they kept smashing into the top of his tall delivery truck. We got the chain saw and tall ladder out right away!
Pot holes, no house numbers, inadequate road or building signage and lack of lighting are just a short list of additional Landscape Feng Shui situations that could be impeding the smooth flow of energy from the main road to your home. If it’s hard for a newcomer to find you, it’s hard for the Ch’i to find your home as well.
Landscape Feng Shui: Invite Ch’i energy in
Now that your visitors have found your home, can they find the front door? Again, the clearer the path they are given, the clearer the path is for the revitalizing Feng Shui Ch’i energy to enter your home.
If the garage door is what greets your guests, the signal that is being communicated is one of activity and absenteeism. The Feng Shui adjustment would be to paint the garage door the same color as the siding which would allow it to fade away. Further accentuate the importance of the front door by painting it a vibrant, contrasting distinguishing shade.
It’s also important to provide an easy to locate, unobstructed, meandering path from the driveway to the front door. Increase your welcome with plantings, statuary or other “greeters” that make the journey to the front door an enjoyable one.
In an apartment or condo setting, take another look at how you approach and enter your building so you can clearly explain the path to any new visitors. If no distinguishing characteristics or signage are available, see whether you might be able to subtly install your own Feng Shui “signal” such as a small lawn ornament or sign near the door. Embellish your front door with a colorful welcome mat or seasonal wreath so friends can look out for your cheerful greeting. What other ways can you think of to boost the Feng Shui outside your apartment door?
Step One of my free download, Start to Feng Shui Today, offers more details on how to Feng Shui your front door and make it a powerhouse of focus and energy. It’s amazing what a few changes can do.
Are you ready to do a bit of Landscape Feng Shui? This is #1 in my Landscape Feng Shui Series so getting started now will allow you to enjoy the renewed energy of your enhancements. Then you can move forward from there.
If you are thinking of undergoing a complete revamp of your landscape, contact me for a Feng Shui telephone consultation before you start with your landscape design team. Then you can present sound, Feng Shui guidelines for them to follow as they choose the materials and plantings for your space.
I have always loved playing with the area around my home – gardening, adding various outdoor ornaments, embellishing my front door and styling my decks and porches. What are your outdoor areas like? Let’s all do some Feng Shui together.